Free tickets for the showcase of Bloodshot artists at the High Noon Saloon may be long gone, but this is of course a party for a record company, which means a more permanent musical experience is available for those who don't make the show. For vinyl fans, it's been an embarrassment of riches lately as most of the company's releases are now coming out on LP, along with a code for a free digital download.
Bloodshot Records vinyl is often produced in limited quantities, so anyone interested in snagging a copy of a favorite performer's new release should probably make the leap sooner rather than later. This was a lesson I've learned the hard way, last year's Andre Williams disc being just one example. Here's a round-up of some of the label's recent 12-inch platters.
: Novel Sounds of the Nouveau South
Ha Ha Tonka cross-pollinates genres willy-nilly on this latest album, managing to blend many familiar but usually divergent sounds into a whole that's uniquely their own. A densely constructed and arranged suite of songs, less anthemic and more elegiac than their debut disc, it's an album that inspires singing along even if you haven't really figured out what the songs are about -- along the lines of Love's Forever Changes, for one example. There's castle ruins in the Missouri state park the band takes its name from, and Novel Sounds often makes me feel like a wanderer stumbling on those remnants without knowing why they are there: surprised, and interested to find out the story behind these modern Ozark folk songs.
Justin Townes Earle: Midnight at the Movies P.S.: In the recent past, Blodshot has also released vinyl versions of the latest from the Dex Romweber Duo and Wayne Hancock, along with some 7-inches, though I haven't had a chance to check those out yet.
Released in March, the second album from the son of rockin' country outlaw Steve Earle showcases Justin Townes' considerably more laid back take on Americana. As a songwriter and performer, it must be both a blessing and a curse to have a famous father paving the way, but it seems the younger Earle is finding his own way after time spent learning some of the same lessons in self-destruction his father and namesake Townes Van Zandt did a generation earlier. Heck, he was fired from the elder Earle's band at one point! At first listen, the reserved musical backing may not leap out and grab the listener, but repeated spins reveal a gift for storytelling and observation that elevates these songs above their low-key, bluesy western swing backing.
Justin Townes Earle: Midnight at the Movies
P.S.: In the recent past, Blodshot has also released vinyl versions of the latest from the Dex Romweber Duo and Wayne Hancock, along with some 7-inches, though I haven't had a chance to check those out yet.